The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was created in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. It now provides 111 acres of open space including gardens full of flowering plants, wildflower meadows, an intricate network of wetlands, and extensive tree planting.
The London Legacy Development Corporation’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) 2014-2019 set out a strategy to ensure that priority species continue to thrive after the Olympics are over.
Biodiversity monitoring became a planning condition for the park, and in 2016. As a result, The Landscape Group, (now Idverde), recruited Temple (formerly The Ecology Consultancy) to continue annual surveys for breeding birds, invertebrates, and bats. Subsequently, in 2017 they also commissioned the first wintering bird survey.
Temple provided monitoring reports and recommendations to ensure that past and future Biodiversity Action Plans for the park have facilitated and will continue to facilitate thriving habitats for the benefit of wildlife and the local community alike.
Temple ecologists, along with invertebrate experts from the University of East London’s Sustainability Research Institute (SRI), have now provided survey data, analysis, and recommendations for three consecutive years. Our 2019 results recorded well over 400 invertebrate species. Including four of the seven BAP species, such as the brown-banded carder bee, toadflax brocade moth, and flower beetle; along with a species of beetle recorded on only one other site in the UK.
The number of bird species using the park rose from 45 in 2013 to 55 by 2017, which is over a fifth of all UK species. Furthermore, those confirmed as breeding, (or probably breeding), also rose from 33 to 38. Which include some well-loved BAP species such as black redstart, kingfisher, house sparrow, sand martin, starling, and song thrush. Moreover, numbers have remained stable since 2017, with a total of 52 species recorded in 2019, 26 of these successfully breeding on site. There has however been a notable decline in black redstart numbers, likely due to the development of previously suitable brownfield sites around the park.
These baseline ecology reports have guided future management strategies for the park. These subsequently include the requirement of further biodiverse roofs as a response to this drop in black redstart numbers. In addition, four bat species continue to forage for insects in the more wooded and less brightly-lit areas of the park.
The park currently provides a haven for wildlife to flourish and a valuable green space within an urban location. With Temple’s habitat management recommendations having now been incorporated into the Biodiversity Action Plan for 2019-2024. Therefore, Londoners can have confidence that this will remain the case and that the conservation and enhancements of habitats on site for wildlife, will continue into the future.
“I always enjoy reading Temple’s (formerly The Ecology Consultancy) latest monitoring reports and gaining reassurance that wildlife in the Park has been thriving for yet another year. The dedication and enthusiasm shown by Temple Ecologists are inspiring. I am feeding their data and recommendations into the next Biodiversity Action Plan for the Park. For example, we will be encouraging an upsurge in extensive green roofs on new developments to encourage black redstarts.”